I decided I had to do something about the top left, or north west corner of the layout. Once I get this part finished I can then complete the trackwork for the service yards. To this end I carried on from where I left off before. I had got as far as plastering the area and applying a coat of paint to seal it.
Next I used the grassmaster on it to get it to look like this.
Some small bushes and plants and finally trees.
Next step was ballasting the track on the raised shuttle line.
I added a bit of pavement at the base of where the retaining walls will sit.
Then added the retaining walls to continue on from the previous installation.
I then put in paving for this side of the road. Once this was done I then definitely knew how much space I had for maintenance yards.
I then installed more points and track to get this.
A view from a different angle. This is where the station building will sit.
Sort of an aerial view to show how it all sits plan wise on the western side of the layout.
On the other side I added a further point to conclude my track laying for this side of the layout.
Down this side I also added some new baseboards to build up this end.
I need to get a further backdrop for this end before going wild with more buildings. I had my eye on the Faller Nuremberg fire station but availability and cost are issues. I could make something I suppose. Plenty of time to think further about what I'm going to put in here later though. I have lots of tidying up to do now. Here's some shots of the layout to give an overview of where I'm up to.
There's not an awful lot to show this time around. I have been doing things but they're probably not all that noticeable. I had new lights installed in the roof which has really brightened the room up no end. Makes things a lot better to see and photograph although I'm starting to notice some pictures washed out if I photograph too close to the light. I tend to have the blinds down all the time here as the railway room is north facing and the sun is very strong here. It could easily melt my stock that's stored below in boxes.
Also finished my shuttle lines and they're fully operational now. Still cleaning them up a bit as they got a bit messy in some parts due to painting and plastering behind.
I had made a start on the wooded corner section but seasonal change has had an impact on this. I have done the plastering and a rough coat of paint to seal it but the weather then got quite cold so it won't dry quite as quickly, or worst case scenario; not at all, when I grassmaster it. I'll probably just jack up the heating for a bit to sort that out.
While I'm down this end of the layout here's a couple of pictures of how things look from down here at the moment. Once the corner is forested I can get to work on this part. The stone wall will continue round and merge into tunnels.
The most visible part is adding lots of window boxes with flowers to brighten the place up a bit. MiniNature do a great line in the flowers so a few different colours and a chopped up piece of walnut strip for the boxes and off we go. Did some touch ups of older buildings, repainted them and weathered them.
I made the maypole that was mentioned previously. I used the Trix one along with parts from a Noch one to make the one shown.
I planted the Bavarian flag banners too. I'll need to make more of these.
Added a few more buildings too. Fountain and a public WC.
I'm painting some Prieser people for inside coaches as well. Bit cheaper than the ready painted ones.
Thinking to the future now I may add more building to this section at the front so that I have the trains travelling through city effect. I'll need another city back drop so that will be the third of the same backdrop I will use but I don't see any better alternatives. Here's some shots to finish with.
A couple of cameos to conclude with.
This entry follows on from the previous one in the main. I installed the walling along the side of the shuttle lines. While this is off the shelf stuff it is quite good and looks ok. I've cut it to shape where required and applied various washes for effect.
I've also extended the road down the length of most of the wall.
This is one end of the shuttle line. I've finished off ballasting and installed some of the Wienert buffer stops. Bit of a goods terminus. Needs tidied up still.
I've also created roads which bisect the old town square. I'm not sure about road markings from this period so further research is required.
I added more trees to the area where the big one was installed so it isn't so obvious.
I created more flags and banners for the central square.
I've done a small isolated section as a test to see what I need to look out for in the main square. The main thing seems to be the gap between the buildings and the ground. I'm using polyfilla to close this and then weather it in.
I installed the old city wall and started weathering it in.
The square is now more of a, well - it actually is, a triangle. The church and town hall will sit in these positions. I've positioned the Trix maypole temporarily so you can see where I intend putting it. It's temporary so I can move it if it's not suitable. If anyone is aware of someone offering brass etchings to add to this please let me know. This is how it looks now.
These two buildings still have to be weathered in to the square.
I've had another batch of kits arrive to finish off this area. I still need street "furniture' like lights etc but will buy and install these as funds arise.
This is how it looks now from a couple of different perspectives.
About the time of my last entry I got a whole load of kits to build to build up my town scene which will occupy the north east corner of the layout. I got a few other items too so this entry should hopefully be more visually stimulating than the last entry's track fest. The plan is to have several layers of buildings to this to give the impression of a big city's old quarter. This will be bound by two main roads which will merge round about where the station starts and run along behind the station with the main road eventually disappearing under the tunnel at the west end.
Before I got started on the building area the key thing was to start at the back and work forward. There was a problem with the backdrop due to the way I had fixed the panels together. I had used screws to fix the sheets of hardboard. I later found out that pva would be sufficient to hold them and now can do a seamless join. However, this was my first attempt and the backdrops were already in place therefore I needed something to obscure the screws sticking through the backdrop picture.
Previously I had used trees to hide errors so I decided to do the same here. I just needed a bigger tree. So here it is; twig from the backyard with sea moss branches.
The next step was to establish where the buildings would go. I have been shuffling these around for months but having now completed the new kits have come up with a configuration that I'm fairly happy with.
I still have some thinking about what to do with the town wall but other than that this should be fine. I've ordered a few more kits of half timbered buildings to add in round the main square. I'll use the church and Rathaus as centrepiece buildings.
I finished painting and weathering the Wienert buffers so they are all ready to go in. Will weather these a bit further when they are in place.
I also got some brick work to use as walls for the sides of the raised shuttle lines. These are off the shelf and ready to plonk but with a bit of weathering look the part.
I have moved the station to this side of the tracks as there just isn't room on the other side and it looks wrong.
This is a view of the first layer of buildings. You can see the tree I made earlier at the back.
This has been a bit experimental in that I am using polyfilla for the roads and thought I'd use this area as a test to see if it worked ok. The other thing is that access is a bit limited here so I am putting the buildings onto thin MDF sheets so I can remove entire blocks for maintenance or modification if need be.
I have elected to use Bavarian flags rather than nazi flags. It will primarily be epoch 2 but will also be epoch 1 a lot of the time too. And, put simply, there's no way I'm having lots of nazi flags round my layout so Bavaria it is.
I still need to source appropriate street lighting etc but will add these items as funds become available.
I'm trying to source more 1930's posters and shop front signs to change over the ones that came in some of the kits. I'm having to modify some of the older kits that I have as, when I built them, my attention to detail wasn't the same as now. Also having got glasses last year I can now focus on detail again. Most of what's seen in these pictures will be hidden behind the town walls and rarely seen but I still think it's important that it looks ok for those rare occasions when it is seen. So from here I can complete the city square and roads and tie up this end of the layout. The next bit will be the service yards at the other end. So there's a plan. Hopefully it will all work as intended.
I haven't done an update for some time despite the fact that a lot has been happening because I have been a bit focussed on getting the layout presentable for the BRMA layout tour. The layout tour came and went with very few mishaps; only three guys from the first group got lost and turned up later when group three were there but that wasn't a big issue as there was sufficient room, Jeff (SR Man) took control of the wrong HST ( I suppose this would be an argument for a colour screen ECoS) and did a head charge into the Jacobite steam special, my class 60 stopped at one point and decided it wasn't going to move again. That was it though. Nice to see Ian Futers, who was the special guest speaker at the conference the day prior, come to see my layout. No one here models Scottish layouts so it was good to get someone to talk about Scottish layouts with. Bit of a first now I come to think about it!
Nice to get a chance to get my feet up and not feel under pressure to get a move on with the layout. I can now take my time and do a few other things like photography.
So onto what's been happening on the layout. I'll keep it general and maybe go into specifics on future posts. Here are a couple of pictures of the rear of the castle as I haven't shown this aspect before., probably because it looked like a dog's breakfast.
I have tried to conceal it as well as I can with vegetation but the tunnels are still visible and not that great. There isn't a lot I can do about it at this point but fortunately people in this position are likely to look at other parts of the layout, such as this.
This is the new extension to the shuttle lines. Plockton station is at the far end and I'm still deciding what to do about the other end. I can have a terminus at the place shown in the pictures above but had been intending to do a station in the middle, probably Spean Bridge. It's a bit to close for two stations so maybe do Spean bridge where intended and have the platform continue a fair bit round the curve and along the straight. I'm open to ideas. I have a West Highland station building already built though so it will have to be a West Highland station what ever is decided.
I built up rocky hillsides in the corners at the back to hide the joins between the new backdrops.
This is the mid section where the planned West Highland station will go.
The last shot shows a landscape picture of the area. I still have to add more vegetation, ferns and gorse. I hadn't thought I would have had time to do this corner. It used to have a Swiss mountain scene with high cliffs over here and I thought it would have been too much trouble to rework it before the layout tour but my A3 got stuck in there and I was unable to get it out. I took this as a sign that I had to demolish this area and I'm glad I did; it looks so much better than it did. Moving round from this corner we now have the section before the bridges. I had a tidy up here and used the grassmaster to make it look more natural.
The backdrop behind this area has lots of pine plantations so I was able to line the wall with pine trees to merge the scene with the backdrop. I will ballast this bit soon and finish it off as it has been in place for a couple of years no with no problems. I'm just waiting on it getting a bit warmer as it dries up quicker.
I was also speaking to Jeff aka SRman about doing some videos of sound locos as he is without a layout at the moment. I'm quite looking forward to doing a bit of that as a welcome change from doing scenics. I have a Tornado on the way ( a model one that is) to get sound in and have done a few sound install's that I have been meaning to film so will fit that in. There's a station to build and fair bit of ballasting, point rodding, signals and so on. It just doesn't end does it?
I have been meaning to do an update on my layout for some time but have been so busy. A lot has happened but there is still quite a lot to get done. What follows are work in progress shots; not the final look so nit pickers donít feel that Christmas has arrived. Iím well aware that lots needs done. I just felt that it was about time for an update as there is a lot going on.
Firstly I changed the fencing around the castle to walling which does look better. I still have to do stuff like pavements etc but that can wait for a bit.
The next thing going on was the extension to the upper shuttle lines. I have now laid all the track, installed point motors, occupancy detectors and point decoders. Unfortunately I am unable to test it as the s-88 arrived without a connecting cable; apparently LDT no longer supply them due to the option of connectors now. This is how the new terminus bit looks.
Having gone as far as I could with that I then went on to the area where the turn table used to be. I have attempted to model Loch Eilt here. I still have more layers of epoxy to add to build up layers for the loch. The land needs tree and bushes still. The upper area above the raised tracks is to go. I donít like it and have a better idea for this area. I have a backdrop which will fit in here. The fir trees will get pulled and replanted in a plantation like we tend to see these days.
At the moment I have been doing a lot of tidying up. Wiring cleaning paint of the tops of tracks etc. Next day I will start tidying up the scenicís on the lower area round the loch. Once this area is done I can start on a new area. Probably backdrops all round this upper area then move on to ripping out the area I mentioned before at the back.
I was hoping to have finished this castle before this update but the whole castle project is a bit bigger than I had originally anticipated. I am about 95% there and just have small details to finish such as chimney pots, door handles and the like.
So here are some pictures of the castle in place.
With flags added
Large tree added
Side views with gravel driveway now in place.
How this looks in the greater context of the layout.
I have to say that had I known how much work these conical tower roofs were going to be I wouldnít have bothered. These really were a mission. I still have to do walls for the front and back of the castle estate. I also have a lot of tidying up to do with the fencing. I am thinking of removing some of the fencing and replacing it with stone walls as this would be more appropriate for the area. Iíll try to do some of the walling tomorrow if I get time.
I havenít shown any pictures of the back as I am still to finish off a lot of the part at the rear. Iíll show some pictures when I do that part.
I got some track from Paul (Lancashire Fusilier) at the weekend so I am pretty much ready to start my West Highland extension. It will still be based on Spean Bridge but will have to curve a bit. I had better finish up the rear part of the castle and do the tunnel mouths and covering foliage first however so the extension may have to wait until next week or even month.
I have started acquiring a fleet of late eighties early nineties diesels to run on the West Highland lines at the top. I am in the process of installing sound detailing and weathering these. The 47 and 26 both have sound installed. There is also a 37 which I installed sound in but it had to go back as the decoder was faulty. I just have to do the powders on the 26 and 47 and then they are done. Here are some pictures of the 47.
I thought it was about time for a bit of an update. I have actually been doing a fair bit although it hardly looks like it. It has all been focussed on one project though. Recently I removed all the German towers and bridges from the edge of the raised bit and am now left with this which needs remodelled. The plan is to cover over the gap at the top and place a castle on top of it with a bit of grounds. I will need to make a couple of tunnel mouths to go at the ends.
I have a vacant section which was the turntable and am debating what to do with it. I could do a diesel depot or country scene. My current favourite idea is to do a small lochan with an island with tall trees as is often seen in the West Highlands. Iíd have to drop the level a bit so it goes well below the track level but it might be worth it. I also thought a rockier outcrop behind it might be good too. I had a picture in mind that I seen of the line to Mallaig in a friends book.
I also intend to extend this section and have my West Highland station in here along with a small depot along the lines of Spean Bridge. I will have to bend some of it round a corner at a 120cm radius so it will have to be modified a bit. I already have the station building made so thatís a head start. The extension will go over my workbench but will be about a foot above it so it will not obstruct using it.
The castle I mentioned earlier is the project thatís taking up most of my time. Itís the biggest building challenge I have had to date. There is a fair amount of work and, knowing what I know now, I probably should have made a simple tower. What I am doing is make a model of Kellie Castle in Fife as it is a local castle. I have most of the exterior done and just a few bits to scribe and colour . Will be getting onto the windows next. I bought some etched brass framework to use; I just have to remember what I did with them!
I also got my Grassmaster too and did a bit of work with that. I redid a lot of the grass to give it a late summer, early autumn look. I found you get better result when doing large areas. Iím quite impressed with the results.
I still have a few loco mods to do too. I need to finish the WD. I put sound in but have to add coal, get rid of the front coupler and weather it a bit more. I also have sound to put into 37, 47 and 26ís for the West Highland bit. Loads to get done. First though, Iím looking forward to getting the castle done so I can get onto the layout extension area. I like the idea of more track. I can make the shuttle lines a bit longer!
Iíve done a bit more work over the last week or so and have a bit of an update.
I have finished off the old gun emplacement and weathered it a bit. This is how it looks for a couple of angles.
This is how it fits into the bigger picture.
I am now working on the old sidings in the lower level where the ordinance would have been delivered down from the gun emplacement. I have ballasted this bit and started on the weathering. It still looks fairly healthy at the moment but I want to give it a really old abandoned derelict look so it looks like nothing has been maintained since 1945. The main Leven to St Andrews line will look relatively well maintained in comparison. Quite a few jobs needing done in this section; more weathering tracks and walls, make the fences look rusty, install girders under the bridges, place plants and trees in and around the tracks and I really need a fence to stop those cows falling off.
While doing this section I continued using the puffer bottle for grass but found it didnít work so well on these smaller sections. I really wasnít happy at all with how the grass came out. I decided to bite the bullet and get a Noch Grassmaster as this seems to be set up to do small areas better.
I had been thinking about which castle to model for the section behind the field and have come to the conclusion that it will have to be Kellie Castle because of location and appropriacy. Trouble is that it will not all fit in the given space. I will have to do a bit of thinking to see if I can extend that area to get it in.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been trying to finish sections of the top of the layout at the front so I can start work on the cuttings below. I had forgotten that there is a lot of work needing done down there. I havenít even painted the rails yet. Thatís the problem with having a break; I forget what I had done and hadnít. The plan is to work from the top down so I donít dump scenic stuff on the completed sections.
I painted all the fencing green so next step will be weathering that with rust and adding some missing pavement to complete that area. I boxed up all the German buildings so I now have a bit of space to work in.
I had got reasonably far with my wheat field but ran out of (Busch) wheat. I ordered another pack from Hearnís hobbies but it just arrived on Friday afternoon so havenĎt had a chance to pick it up yet.
What I have done is finish off the woodland scene. I have pretty much finished that off and made walls to bound it next to the road and edge of the cutting. Iíll need to get some markings on the road to finish that off.
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